Today, my students will finish comparing and contrasting their two versions of Cinderella stories through their writing. As teachers we are constantly making decisions. Upon my observations of my students’ writing from yesterday's comparing and contrasting lesson, I thought it necessary to give students more time to complete their writing. For me, making the decision to press on with a lesson or continue another day is about whether pressing on hinders the learning. I felt my students were worn out yesterday and would benefit from a fresh start. I also feel this extra lesson will help them learn the objective of comparing and contrasting. The strategy of repetition is essential in working with second language learners. It is important to remember they are silumanteouly learning the functions and forms of the English language as they are developing their thinking skills in that language. This another reason for this extra lesson. Some students will need less time than the allotted 20 minutes, so it necessary for me to plan what those students will be doing that will keep them engaged and not interrupt my work with the small group.
The Common Core State Standards call for students to read and understand literature at their grade level. The way for them to be successful with this standard is for them to engage in the process of reading a variety of stories with increasing complexity. That is why I am having those students who finish early read another version of Cinderella. In addition, the CCSS calls for a tighter relationship between the reading and the writing. If students do not want to read another Cinderella story, they may choose to use the story map template and start writing their own version of Cinderella. In writing their own versions of Cinderella, they are practicing again the key details of a narrative. In this case they are: character, setting, plot, problem and solution.
As most students work independently, I will call to the carpet the students who I worked with yesterday to give them support. They need guidance with getting started and for me to help them think aloud how to form their sentences, even though I am providing sentence frames. They need this type of close supervision.
Students will also have a chance to share with each other their comparing and contrasting sentences. I like to give my students a varied audience. I pair-up my students often because it gives those shy students an opportunity to be heard.
I will start with students on the rug and share the objective. I will have them repeat the objective with the sentence: I can compare and contrast different versions of Cinderella stories. I inform my students of the options they have after they finish writing their sentences. I will dismiss the students back to their seats.
At their tables, I explain again how they are going to finish writing sentences that tell how the stories are alike and two sentences that tell how each story is different. Yesterday, I asked them to write two sentences for how the stories are different. They will do the same today. What is new is that instead of writing two sentences for contrasting they will write four. I am providing sentence starters for scaffolding. They will use the information on their Venn-diagrams to write the sentences. The CCSS asks students to make text-to-text connections. As teachers, we need to make connections between what they are reading, speaking, and writing. Those who finish early can either read another version of Cinderella or start writing their own version of Cinderella.
In addition, I am modeling aloud with the versions of Adelita by Tomie De and The Gospel Cinderella by Joyce Carol Thomas.
The sentence frames are as follows:
How the stories different?
How are the stories alike?
For this writing part, I will pull some students to come sit with me on the rug. The students I am pulling need support with the following: direction with getting started, they benefit from smaller grouping; they need help with their concepts of print, and with closer supervision.
I will bring the class back to rug with their response journals. I will review with them what we are doing. I will reference the sentence frame: I can compare and contrast different versions of Cinderella stories. I will let them know, it is time to partner up and share how are the stories alike and how their stories are different. I will draw their attention to the chart I have on comparing and contrasting. They will ask each other: how are your stories alike? How are they different? One of the most powerful strategies I can use with my English Language Learners is repetition. They benefit tremendously from this.
In addition, I will have a couple of students share the Cinderella stories they have begun to write.
I will close the lesson by asking them about whether we met our objective(s) or not. The more I get the opportunity to review what we are learning, the deeper the connections I help them make about we are learning.